My life has been an unbroken chain of cats that connect my past to my present. Sadie, the grey tabby asleep on my floor, knew my father, who died ten years ago this summer. Sadie knows my husband, who never met my father. I can’t talk to her about it, but I can watch the way her nose crinkles up when my husband’s fingers scratch her chin, and I remember that she did the same crinkle for my dad.
Sadie and I once lived with my parents and their cat Lacey, and Lacey, my parents and I used to live together with Silly Eyes, the fluffy yellow tomcat who showed up our new home (his old home) when I was three years old. I was allowed to name Silly Eyes, who eventually became just Silly, and he bore up nobly under that name.
My dad died just a couple of weeks before my twenty-ninth birthday, so this means forty years of cats in my life, stretching back over my sense memory like a living melody.